United Airlines has applied to become the first U.S. carrier to offer nonstop flights between Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.
The proposed daily flights will give travelers from 64 communities across the Southern U.S. more options for visiting Tokyo. This new route aims to strengthen ties between Japan and the thriving Houston region, home to over 240 Japanese-affiliated companies. If approved, the Houston-Haneda route will bring more convenience and flexibility to business and leisure travelers while meeting the demand for Tokyo travel from the Southern U.S.
“Between its steadily growing population and its booming energy and innovation sectors, the Houston area has transformed into a critical hub for both business and leisure travel,” said Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances at United Airlines. “If awarded by the DOT, this new service will enhance travel options to Tokyo Haneda for consumers across the Southern United States and strengthen the economic partnership between Japan and more than 240 affiliated businesses in the greater Houston area.”
United’s Japanese Network
Operating the largest route network of any U.S. airline, United has worked hard to create a comprehensive Japanese network that offers competitive and affordable service options for U.S. travelers. In Tokyo, United’s service covers all seven of the airline’s U.S. hubs and includes multiple flights to both Haneda and Narita airports.
United’s Houston Ties
United is the leading airline in Houston, employing over 14,000 people and operating over 400 daily departures, including over 70 international ones. A recent study by Compass Lexecon found that United’s hub at IAH and the spending of foreign visitors on United and Star Alliance member flights contribute an estimated $5.3 billion per year to the Texas economy. In 2022 alone, United’s employment in Houston contributed $1.2 billion to economic activity.
Japanese Companies in Houston
Houston is a major center for industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and particularly the energy sector, thanks to its role as an energy powerhouse. Houston and the state of Texas have developed strong economic ties with Japan. Last month, Houston was chosen as one of seven regional clean hydrogen hubs by the U.S. Department of Energy, with support from Japanese subsidiary Mitsubishi Power Americas.
Japanese-owned companies employ over 70,000 workers in Texas, with Houston alone being home to more than 240 Japanese-affiliated companies. Additionally, Texas is home to 53 Fortune 500 companies, 24 located in Houston or its surrounding areas. According to the Texas Development Corporation, Japanese companies have invested $6.9 billion and created 19,620 new jobs through 119 projects in Texas over the past decade. Conversely, Texas companies have invested $799 million and created 1,667 new jobs through 25 projects in Japan. Houston’s relationship with Japan goes beyond economics, as it is also home to its regional Consulate-General.
United operates the most comprehensive global route network among North American carriers with U.S. hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. It is now the largest airline in the world, as measured by available seat miles. For more about how to join the United team, visit www.united.com/careers. Learn more about the company at www.united.com. United Airlines Holdings, Inc., the parent company of United Airlines, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol “UAL”.
|Houston recorded the highest population growth among the top ten largest U.S. metropolitan areas, with 21% growth between 2011 and 2021|